Direct-to-DVD Trek movies?

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Mirror Sulu, Feb 19, 2013.

  1. RandyS

    RandyS Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, this is a good idea. Except, why limit it to just the end of the Occupation? Do a four parter covering the entire 60 year occupation.

    Yeah, I know the novels already did a trilogy on this (and very well, too), but there's no reason it can't be adapted for a miniseries.
     
  2. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    Speak for yourself. I loved the movie, JJ got what made TOS great and updated it for the 21st century, IMO.

    Just like non-Trek-fan Harve Bennett did for the 80's in Wrath of Khan.
     
  3. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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  4. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    I guess Orci and Kurtzman are also full of hot air when they talk about what huge fans they are? And how they reread favourite ST novels, and rewatched "Yesteryear" (TAS) and quoted whole slabs of DC Fontana's animated script? And found ways to use TNG in the lead-up comic mini-series, "Countdown", to the 2009 film?

    How many's "a lot"? Because it's my impression that most ST fans were very happy with JJ's movie, and supported it at the box office, wrote positive reviews about it, bought the DVD and tie-in comics (such as "Nero", "Spock Reflections") and demanded a comic adaptation of the movie script.
     
  5. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Thanks for the correction. I barely made it through the first book but own all three, for some reason I thought Swallow had written them all. :techman:
     
  6. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    But lower budgets do equate to lower production values and you could end up with something that very much looks low-budget.
    Doubtful. It's not 2001 anymore when ENT left the air. I would wager that a new Trek TV series would probably be budgeted around 3 million dollars an episode these days.
     
  7. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Certainly, some fans had issues with the reboot, but plenty of us liked it just fine. It's not really a "fan vs. non-fan" thing.

    Plus, of course, there are plenty of gradations of fandom. It's not like you have true believers on one side and totally clueless mundanes on the other--with nothing inbetween. It's a spectrum, not a binary choice.

    The world is full of people (like most of our relatives and neighbors) who may not be able to quote chapter and verse of every single DS9 episode, but who are familiar with STAR TREK and have enjoyed many of the movies and TV episodes over the years.

    That's where the bulk of the audience is, not at the polar extremes of hardcore fandom or total ignorance of all things Trek.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2013
  8. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Abrams said what he needed to say to get people to not write this off as 'just another Trek movie'.

    As a fan since 1975, I think he "gets" Trek just fine. Kirk is the big risk, big reward player. While Spock is the emotionless side-kick who has a bubbling undercurrent of emotion. Scott is the Scottish guy who fixes the engines. The rest are mostly blank slates.

    The people out there who say Abrams doesn't get Trek are usually the ones who don't really seem to get it themselves.
     
  9. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Forget DVD, it's a dying format. But streaming is a great place for Star Trek, either Netflix or Amazon or both.

    Their goal is to ramp up subscriptions by offering original content you can't get anyplace else. So they trot out some big names like Fincher and Spacey based on the fact that they are seeing a lot of fans of those guys watching stuff, but Star Trek is a bigger name with a more loyal and fanatical audience and all the series (except I guess ENT?) are on Netflix streaming already, so in addition to new subscribers, they can tell which existing subscribers to market the show to, with great precision and at low cost.

    Of all the new series they could do, what's more likely to be the killer app - the one series that people would subscribe to the service for, regardless of what else is offered - than Star Trek? (or Star Wars? Disney should be doing a deal with Netflix, too, they're already pretty cozy.)

    CBS is cozying up to both Netflix and Amazon, and is doing an original sci fi series (Under the Dome) this summer based on the idea of showing it both on CBS and Amazon and getting revenues from both sources to offset the budget. If they only showed on CBS, it probably wouldn't do well enough to justify its existence. Star Trek is in the same boat - CBS's audience is wrong. But the early adopter techy types who subscribe to Netflix and Amazon are just the right audience.

    I wouldn't write the obituary of traditional TV quite yet, it'll survive for a while yet with sitcoms, CSI and sports. But Star Trek is a poster child for exactly the nichey sort of show that can't find a home on traditional TV anymore, but is custom made for subscription streaming. It's a huge name that can attract a loyal following, and it matches the Netflix or Amazon customer base much better than it matches the CBS audience. The same type of person who is the first to make a switch to a new technology is also likely to be a sci fi fan.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2013
  10. dub

    dub Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I can see it now...a new Trek reality show, "Keeping Up with the Cardassians" -- the flagship series of the new United Paramount Intergalactic Streaming Service (aka UPISS).
     
  11. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

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    Why would a streaming format have different budgetary issues than direct-to-DVD? It's not like Netflix will arbitrarily raise their prices to cover a show like Trek. The last time they tried to change their pricing and product, they took so much flak they reversed their decision.

    Sci-fi is expensive, no matter what. Spacey's show on Netflix is set in the present day, so no custom made costuming needed - off-the-rack suits and dresses are feasible. No particularly grand special effects are needed for it - how often do people "beam" in and out of D.C.? The sets will be offices and apartments, not spaceship interiors with wildly futuristic technology all over the place.
     
  12. RandyS

    RandyS Vice Admiral Admiral

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    :guffaw:

    That's the BEST thing I've read around here in a while!

    :guffaw:
     
  13. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Direct to DVD is a dying format for one thing, so why invest in it? Also, you have the issues of creating physical media and the costs associated with that. And then where do you sell it? Wal-Mart? Blockbuster is gone. But Netflix is going gangbusters. Why not just sell your product where the customers are?

    Netflix doesn't have to convince Wal-Mart to stock its product - it has an in-house database of people who watch Star Trek that it can market to, at minimal cost - just send an email or whatever. Convincing retailers to stock a product is a very pricey proposition compared with what Netflix is doing. Having direct access to customers is a huge benefit vs. having to partner with a brick & mortar store for customers.

    I'm discounting the notion of selling DVDs online because if you have the option of streaming, that's obviously superior vs having to press DVDs, pay postage and pay minimum wage (but American minimum wage) workers to ship the stuff out.

    If DVD were not a dying format with marketing/distribution drawbacks compared with Netflix, then I wouldn't object to that idea, but its time is past. It's not the budget really so much as, Star Trek needs to be associated with the future, not the past. And from Netflix or Amazon's perspective, Star Trek should be intensely attractive - it's just the brand they need right now, to make a splash and position themselves as king of the hill vs the other guy.

    And on top of that, there's no law that says Netflix can't burn some DVDs and send them out to people who insist. It's more expensive for them than streaming, but it's not a deal-breaker. House of Cards might end up on DVD someday- it's a dying format, but not dead yet.

    House of Cards is $100M for two 13-episode seasons, not at all a cheap series just because it is set in modern-day. That budget could cover a Star Trek series, especially if someone were thinking about clever ways to keep the budget down, such as setting the action on an Earth colony under attack by mysterious and largely unseen aliens.

    Just having heroes in Starfleet uniforms, battling impossible odds and making flowery speeches, goes a long way towards being Trekkish. Doesn't sound pricey to me.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2013
  14. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    TNG was only financially viable because Paramount pre-sold the international rights for video sell-thru - and made the overseas TV networks wait a year before being allowed to air episodes.

    Here in Australia, DVD is still doing well, and gradually being taken over by Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D, but we have nothing like Netflix, as far as I know. Update: yep, Aussies have to "bootleg" it:
    http://mixednuts.net.au/netflix-in-australia-the-easy-way/

    So any direct-to-Netflix ST product would still have to be available in DVD or Blu-Ray form, at least for some years to come.

    ????

    No matter the format, most ST fans will still expect state-of-the-art SPFX.

    Sounds like you're hanging out until the three hours of extra footage in which characters stand around debating the rescue of the Andorian ambassador from the surface of Sylax IV. Until you just wish everyone was dead. ["The Onion"]
     
  15. mos6507

    mos6507 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    These are the writers that brought us Transformers with wrecking-ball testicles and lines like "Jew-fro". Just because they watched and liked the show doesn't mean they know how to write for it.

    One of the tragic aspects of Trek fandom is their tendency to eat up whatever is given to them, which is part of what led to the franchise dying in the first place. Doesn't mean they don't bitch about it online.
     
  16. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    I don't recall too many US fans "eating up" a film called "Nemesis". They went to see the opening weekend of "Maid in Manhattan" instead. Nor did they "eat up" "Enterprise".

    Conversely, most ST fans ate up ST 2009. In fact, so did Leonard Nimoy.

    About ST 2009? A very tiny percentage.
     
  17. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    Because the holy pure Trek writers of the past only ever wrote high-brow gold? Hell, even IN Star Trek I might as well point to "Spock's Brain", "Rascals", "Sub Rosa" or "Take Me Out to the Holosuite" and declare all other works by those writers and producers to be utter garbage.
     
  18. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Plus there was a realistic chance of syndication revenue, and a lot less competition from cable and the internet.

    Everything's changed too much for the TNG system to ever work again. But there are all new opportunities that could work instead, it just takes someone with the vision and guts to take a chance.

    When the story remands it, the SFX should not be shabby. I'm proposing that the premise be written so that SFX is not demanded so often that it breaks the budget. And I'm optimistic that viewers will appreciate strong writing and acting enough that they won't even realize they're not seeing eye-candy every ten minutes.

    Any fans who absolutely require a constant stream of pricey eye-candy are going to have to be happy with movies every three years because that's the format that can pay for the eye-candy. A TV series requires different assumptions, and probably will have a different audience. There will be movie fans, TV/streaming fans and a subset of both groups who appreciate both.

    I expect the next TV series to be strikingly different from the movies, since movies and TV are splitting off even more completely into different animals. The future of movies is The Avengers; the future of TV is House of Cards. Star Trek is lucky in being flexible enough to adapt to both.

    Sure why not transfer it in every format that will make money, for as long as that format makes money? But it's not the primary format, that is, it's not how Roberto Orci is going to sell Les Moonves on doing a series in the first place.
     
  19. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    I'm sure CBS has very good reasons not to support Netflix with original Star Trek movies. (Unless CBS has shares in Netflix?) And, as I said, Netflix is not an international phenomenon - and external sales have been an essential part of what makes ST viable.

    Similarly, in the 60s NBC had financial interests in the then-fledgling color TV industry, hence TOS's use of primary colours to sell TVs.

    The model Paramount used with TNG pre-sold the international rights to companies like CIC-Taft, which was the Australian home video arm of Paramount Australia.

    I really don't know how you envisage a ST that uses minimal SPFX - and whether much of the fanbase are going to be riveted to a ST series with scripts deliberately written to require little in the way of alien makeups and costuming, expensive sets and things that need CGI work. I also seem to recall lots of fans complaining any time ST scheduled a "bottle show" to save money.

    "Vision and guts" is fine, but cheapened-down ST is going to be seen for what it is.
     
  20. kirk55555

    kirk55555 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'd love to see Direct to DVD stuff with real Star Trek. Written by people who didn't write Transformers, and in the real universe. Give the budget of a TV episode (or maybe two) and bring some of the actors in (although perferably don't have the writers/producers behind ENT involved, I actually liked a lot of what I saw of ENT, but it was a pretty weak series). Since JJ killed the movie (and probably TV) aspects of Trek, I'd like to see some real live action trek someday. An official Trek live action project with decent actors, a story not written by idiots, and without lensflares would be a dream come true. Unfortunately, at this point, I might as well wish for Godzilla to rise out of the ocean and eat JJ Abrams. Live action Trek now exists for the same reason Transformers movies get made. JJ's Trek is mindless, poorly written action movies with a Star Trek skin on top, and its what live action Trek will stay, since (like Transformers) it makes money, even if a 5 year old could write/direct a better trek movie.